Opinion Brief

Newsweek's 'creepy' Princess Diana cover

The magazine imagines — both visually and in words — what could have been if the beloved princess wasn't killed in a tragic 1997 car crash

The image: What would Princess Diana be like if she were alive today? That's the subject of Tina Brown's controversial new Newsweek cover story, "Diana at 50: If She Were Here Now." In the feature, Brown hypothesizes that the icon would wear J. Crew "à la Michelle Obama," keep up with "strategic Botox shots," and be best friends with her ex-husband, Prince Charles. The magazine's package also includes a slideshow comparing Diana and Kate Middleton's fashion, a fake Facebook page, an update of her causes, and a Photoshopped image of Diana holding an iPhone. There's also digital artwork on the cover that depicts what an aged Diana would look like today, walking alongside Middleton. (Check out the image below.) As Adam Clark Estes at The Atlantic Wire says, "How creepy is Princess Diana's ghost on the cover of Newsweek?" 

The reaction: "Very!" says Dodai Stewart at Jezebel. It's not just the cover that's "ridiculous," either. Brown's story qualifies as the "shudder-inducing fanfic of the week." Let's not overreact, says Matt Donnelly at The Los Angeles Times. Sure, the cover is "rather jarring." But Brown's what-if story is, at the very least, possible, if not entirely plausible. It's easy to see why Brown chose to do this story, says Lizzie Manning at Mediaite. "Diana was a beloved public figure. She was idolized and worshipped." The world was devastated by the "abrupt tragedy" of her death. "But, it happened. To pretend like it didn't is disrespectful on so many levels." See the cover: 

Full disclosure: Sir Harold Evans, editor-at-large of The Week, is married to Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

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